Building on his prior collaborations with Merce Cunningham and other modern and postmodern artists, dance for camera pioneer Charles Atlas works for the first time with ballet dancers, including Christian Allen, Sara Mearns, and Taylor Stanley. He creates a new experimental film and installation in collaboration with choreographer Jodi Melnick.
This project is supported through the Cage Cunningham Fellowship, established in 2015 for artists who demonstrate John Cage and Merce Cunningham’s commitment to artistic innovation. In recognition of Cunningham's centennial celebration in 2019, the 2018—19 Cage Cunningham Fellowship extends the award to five artists including Charles Atlas.
Lead support of dance programming at BAC is provided by the Rudolf Nureyev Endowment.
Major support for dance programming and activities provided by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Dance/NYC’s New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Charles Atlas has been a pioneering figure in the creation of time-based visual art for over four decades, extending the limits of his media and forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches, and techniques.
He has made media/dance works, multi-channel video installations, feature-length documentaries, video art works for television, and live electronic performances. He has worked with such artists and performers as Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Anohni, Mika Tajima, and most notably Merce Cunningham, for whom he served as filmmaker-in-residence for a decade from the early 1970s through 1983. His most recent solo exhibitions include the past is here, the futures are coming (2018, The Kitchen, NYC), Scary, Scary, Community Fun, Death (2018, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich), and Illusion of Democracy (2017, MoMA, NYC). Recent large-scale video installations have been MC9 (2018, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), The Tyranny of Conciousness (2017) at The Venice Biennale, Cowboy Body (2016, The Contemporary, Austin), and The Waning of Justice (2015, Luhring Augustine, NYC). In 2017, following a residency at EMPAC, Atlas debuted Tesseract, a two-act work in collaboration with Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener comprised of a 3D film and a live dance performance with video, which has since been shown domestically and internationally. Other significant live performance work includes The Kitchen Follies (2018), a multi-screen, multimedia variety show at The Kitchen that included the work of Jodi Melnick, DANCENOISE, Lady Bunny, among others. Atlas has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, three New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards, the Foundation for Contemporary Artʼs Biennial John Cage Award (2006), and a 2016 United States Artists Gracie Fellowship.
Paula Court, Lori E. Seid